Book Review: Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie

strange bedpersons

So I read a really cute book over the weekend by an author I’d never heard of before. Her name is Jennifer (Jenny) Crusie and she’s got lots of books out there for your reading pleasure.

This book is rather short (only 249 pages) and was a very quick read. It’s witty and interesting and I blew through it in just a couple of hours. If you’re looking for a light-hearted fun read then this is the story for you. It’d make a great poolside book. It’s one of those stories where you pretty much know from the get-go what’s going to happen but you’re still wondering how the characters are ever going to get there. I would definitely pick up another of Crusies’ books.

It is a fictional story and there’s romance between the two main characters but don’t mistake this for a romance book. There’s not much in the hot and steamy category where this book is concerned. (Amanda, I think you’d like this one!) The characters are really believable (I think we’ve all been friends with at least one of them in our lives) and isn’t it so darn typical to fall in love with someone who is totally wrong for you? I think we all do that at some point. Sometimes though you find that those things you thought were wrong, really aren’t or in the case of the main characters in Strange Bedpersons, sometimes love does conquer all.

I really enjoyed this fun read and it was just the perfect book for a cold, rainy weekend. I hope you’ll take the time to check out Jennifer Crusie and perhaps pick up this book. (sidenote: I did just notice that her latest book is up for grabs on Amazon for Kindle at only $2.99!)

Here’s the synopsis:

Tess Newhart knows her ex-boyfriend Nick Jamieson isn’t the right guy for her. He’s caviar and champagne; she’s take-out Chinese pot stickers. He’s an uptight Republican lawyer; she was raised in a commune. He wants to get ahead in business; she just wants…him. But there’s no way Tess will play second fiddle to his job.

Yet somehow she finds herself agreeing to play his fiancée on a weekend business trip that could make or break Nick’s career. And while he’s trying to convince Tess that he needs her in his respectable world, Tess is doing her best to keep her opinions to herself and her hands off Nick.

Book Review: The Premonition Series

It’s been quite a while since my last book review.  This is definitely not because I haven’t been reading.  In fact, I’ve been reading a lot.  Instead, it’s because I’ve been so completely and utterly obsessed with this new series that my friend L introduced me too.  I haven’t wanted to take the time to put the book down and write a post about it.  I COULD BE READING!  Haha. 

So this series that I absolutely cannot put down is called The Premonition Series by Amy Bartol.  So far, there’s four books…

Inescapable

Inescapable

            My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I had been hoping that once I had arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t. 

I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he’s near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be…if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life. 

What is the secret that he’s keeping from me? I’m hoping that it’s anything but what I suspect: that he’s not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I’ve been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

 

Intuition

Intuition

            I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. I’m alive, but how much longer will it take until I beg him not to be?

 

Indebted

Indebted

I hang my head in sorrow for just a moment when I know I am truly alone. I feel like I’m going to my execution, just as he had said. Then I move forward again. I hop a fence of fieldstone and cross a field dotted with Queen Anne’s lace. Goose bumps rise on my arms as I pass the cluster of windmills that I have seen in a dream. The scent is sweet in the field though, not the scent of heat, like it had been when it was forced upon me in visions. I gaze down the hill, beyond the small, whitewashed house that I knew would be there. The church looms dark and grim with its rough-hewn, timber façade, capped by tall, oblong spires reaching to the sky. Black, ominous clouds have collected above the roofline, as if Heaven is showing me the way.

 

Incendiary

Incendiary

            Cold, fine drops of rain fall softly on my cheeks as I emerge from the darkness of the ship’s interior to the gray, overcast sky of the main deck. Pulling my dark pea coat tighter to my body, the wind lifts red tendrils of my hair. I walk slowly to the railing overlooking the water. I catch my first sight of the Irish coastline; its craggy landscape makes me shiver in dread. I find it difficult to imagine now how the Gancanagh had made this their home for so long without anyone realizing it. The cold, moss-covered edifices practically scream their presence. As I study the shadows between the falling-down stone, I imagine creeping shapes of undead Faeries grasping the rock, waiting for our ship to draw nearer to their position. Tipping my face up, I let the rain wash over me. It bathes away the frigid sweat of fear that has broken on my brow. “You don’t know how fiercely beautiful you are, do you?” A quiet voice behind me asks, causing me to stiffen and fix my eyes on the rocks along the shoreline.         

 

You can click here to find out where to purchase them (they’re TOTALLY worth it!).

Ok, so I’m sure you can tell that I love these books.  And I’m dying waiting for the next one.  HURRY UP AMY!  I need to stop reading series books until the entire series is available.  This is torture people! 

I won’t lie to you though – these are definitely written for a young adult audience to some degree; and the first book seemed loosely based on Twilight.  But I loved the Twilight books (not the movies), so that wasn’t a bad thing as far as I was concerned.  If you in any way, shape, or form like Twilight or paranormal romance in general please check this series out! 

To make it even more fun, Amy has a blog where she posts pictures of what she thinks the characters would look like and even the playlists that they would listen to!  How cool is that?  In addition, she likes to review other paranormal romance books. 

Ahem – her rendition of Reed Wellington (main character):

YUM!

YUM!

Seriously, go check this series out today!

Book Review: Rapture by Jacquelyn Frank

So the other day I wrote about another book by Jacquelyn Frank called Pleasure.  This book, Rapture, is actually the 2nd book in a 3 book ‘series.’  I put series in quotations because although these books do tell one larger story, they’re also super easy to read independently of each other.

Reading Rapture after reading Pleasure was a bit odd because I already basically knew what was going to happen – I just didn’t know how.  I still found the book compelling and I definitely got sucked in wanting to know what was going to happen next.  Rapture is actually a bit darker than Pleasure.  There’s more sinister activity going on. 

Again – this book, just like Pleasure, is heavy on the romance part of paranormal romance.  The sex scenes are vividly described and last for several pages.  Again, just like I said about the book Pleasure, I get it if that’s not your gig.  And the same thing still goes… even if she had taken out all the sex stuff, I think the book still would have been good (although to be honest it would have been hard to write this particular story without the sex stuff). 

So far, I have definitely enjoyed this series and I’m more than likely going to purchase the first book in the series (it wasn’t in my Half Price book box that the Husband got me). 

Here’s the synopsis from Barnes and Noble:  The Shadowdwellers live in a realm of darkness and sensuality, where order is prized and sin must be punished. Yet for Magnus, the head priest of Sanctuary, salvation rests with the one woman who can entice him to break every rule…

She Was The Ultimate Temptation

Magnus is a man of contradictions—a spiritual leader in a warrior’s body. To him, laws are for enforcing and visions must be followed—even if that means freeing a beautiful slave and making her his reluctant handmaiden. Betrayed once before, Magnus can barely bring himself to trust another woman. Yet Daenaira’s fiery innocence is drawing them both into a reckless inferno of desire.

 Have you read anything good lately?

Book Review: Pleasure by Jacquelyn Frank

So I pulled this book out of the Half Price box o’ books my husband bought me.  I’d never heard of Jacquelyn Frank and let me tell you, if you like paranormal romance that’s heavy on the romance, this writer is for you.  The sex scenes in her books are vividly described and frequent.  It’s more like romantic erotica.  I get it if that’s not your thing.  To be honest, this is the first book that I’ve read in the paranormal romance category that is so focused on the sex.  All that being said however, the story line itself is quite good.  Had she left out the romance (or even just shortened the scenes) I think the book would still have been just as good of a read.  If you’re looking to get your fire burning though then I suggest you pick up a Jacquelyn Frank book today.  She’ll get your motor running. 

This story actually has dual stories running at the same time.  One is between Guin and Malaya and the other is between Sagan and Valera.  In truth, I wish that the Sagan/Valera story had been fleshed out a little further.  I would have liked to know more about them and well… how things were going with them I guess.  There is some light humor in Valera’s character which I appreciated because it’s about her cats and her love for them and let’s just say that I share the same love of furbabies that she does. 

The story between Guin and Malaya is a bit frustrating just in the fact that you wish that Malaya would catch on already!  Truthfully I don’t know that any woman is really that dense. 

There’s definitely some shock factor in the book regarding twists and turns that you don’t see coming.  It’ll keep you on your toes. 

I enjoyed the read enough to pick up another one of her books which I’ll tell you about in a later post. 

Synopsis from Jacquelyn Frank’s website:

Beyond our world lies a land where darkness reigns—the land of the virile, sensual Shadowdwellers. Yet their mysterious abilities are no match for the power of desire…

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE…

As Chancellor of the Shadowdwellers, Malaya’s first duty is to her people. Her bodyguard, Guin, knows this only too well. For tradition’s sake, Malaya must marry, and the thought of this lush, vibrant, woman in a loveless union is impossible for him to bear. Guin loves Malaya—not as a subject loves his queen but as a man craves a woman. And even if he cannot keep her, he’ll show her everything she stands to lose…

Discipline. Penance. Order. A Sanctuary priest’s life revolves around such things. But when Sagan is taken captive and thrust into the Alaskan wilderness, he encounters a woman who challenges his faith and his self-control. Valera is a natural born witch who almost lost herself to the lure of dark magic. By rights, Sagan should shun her, but convention will count for nothing in the face of a passion that could change the realms of Shadowscape forever…

What are you reading these days?

Book Review: Back in Black by Lori Foster

So I told you guys not that long ago about this great book that I’d read by an author named Lori Foster (who I’d previously never heard of).  I mentioned at the end of that post that I’d started reading another one of her books and that one is called Back in Black.

The book is based on a character (Drew Black) who makes a brief debut in the first book of Fosters that I read.  Here’s the synopsis of the book from Lori Fosters website

SBC president Drew Black is as controversial as they come. But the hot-headed entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. Maybe too extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew’s been causing a lot of friction. That’s why someone’s been called in to clean up his image—before he does any permanent damage.

The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who’s smoothed out the rough edges on many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she’s ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian’s starting to like him raw. Now, opposites aren’t only attracting, they’re igniting. But in the rising heat, which one of them will end up on top?

I didn’t love this story as much as the first one that I read but I’m not honestly sure I could tell you why.  I liked the characters, the story keeps you on your toes, and the sex scenes are well written – there’s really not much to complain about.  Perhaps it’s like a really good chocolate cake – nothing beats the first bite.

*Congrats to Tonya – the winner of my Blog Birthday giveaway.  I’ve sent you an email!

Book Review: My Man, Michael by Lori Foster

Do you guys remember the last book I told you about and how much I reeeeeeally didn’t like it?  Well I’m so happy to have read this book afterwards because it was fun and entertaining and I blew through it in two days.  This book is in a “series” of books that Lori Foster has written called the SBC Fighters Series.  Basically they all center around MMA fighters but you don’t have to read them in any particular order for them to make sense.  In fact, they don’t even reference each other (besides some similar characters).

The Hubs bought me a box of books from Half Price the other day and this was one of the books in there.  Honestly I’ve just been grabbing books off of my bookshelves and reading them without putting any thought into what book I’m picking out.  But, as we’ve established, I prefer it that way.

I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I checked to see if there was another Lori Foster book in the box that the Hubs bought and low and behold there was – I’m reading it now so I’ll give you a review soon.  This book is definitely a romance book and there are several steamy scenes but they’re well written and believable.  I tell ya, you might seriously want to have your significant other give you some sparring lessons and get all hot and sweaty and then read this book together.  It’ll definitely get your motor going. 

I’ll admit, when the book starts, it’s a little ‘out there.’  As in literally.  We’re talking people from the future.  Nope, I’m not kidding.  However, once you get past that part, it’s really enjoyable (and you honestly kinda forget about it).  It’s a breeze to read (assuming you don’t go back and re-read the steamy scenes) and you’ll kinda fall in love with the main characters.  The only part that bothered me was that Kayli’s mom & sisters go from seriously-need-to-be-bitch-slapped to no-problem-at-all in the flip of a page and there’s no real explanation as to why.  Also, you’ll totally see the ending coming but that didn’t stop me from wanting to get there! 

Here’s the synopsis from the author’s website:

On the verge of a title shot match, fighter Michael “Mallet” Manchester is injured in a car accident. And just as quickly as his career was taking off, it’s over. Then Kayli Raine appears, offering him a second chance at becoming whole. Even though Mallet thinks it’s the pain medication talking, he accepts her challenge. And on an extraordinary journey with Kayli, he’ll get a chance to fight again—to save the woman who has saved him.

Book Review: Kentucky Bride by Hannah Howell

It hasn’t been that long since my last book review but I want you to know I really was trying to give you guys a break after posting seven nearly back to back.  That being said, I’ve read several books since then so the reviews are starting to pile up again.  Eventually once I get my life in order (haha) I might start making these a weekly deal or something (kind of like my Window Shopping Wednesday) but who knows.  In the meantime, I’ve gotta tell you about this book!

Ok, so I’m sure you can tell from the cover that yes, this is totally a romance novel.  Don’t let that stop you from reading it though.  I’m being totally honest here when I say that if you took out all of the romance parts this is still a really good book.  It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.  This is totally one of those books that I was reading at red lights. 

Here’s the synopsis from Barnes & Noble but I’ve gotta tell you, it sucks.  It totally doesn’t do this book justice. 

Beautiful Clover Sherwood never expected such a cruel fate. Her father’s death has left her penniless, ostracized from Pennsylvania society, and abandoned by her fiancé. All she has now is a grieving mother, two hungry little brothers and no prospects…until a wealthy Kentucky backwoodsman with a deep Scottish burr comes to town-and inspires her to make a most daring move…

It’s no secret that rugged, roughhewn Scotsman, Ballard MacGregor is ready to marry. Nonetheless, he is surprised by genteel Clover’s sudden proposal…and more than pleased. For the lass’s sweet innocence is bewitching. But settlement life proves harsh on his refined young wife. And Ballard fears that unless he can awaken her passion and win her love-as she has won his-he may lose his Kentucky bride…

Book Review: Dark Fire by Christine Feehan

Do you remember way back when I admitted that I’m a fan of the vampire genre?  Well, that hasn’t changed.  Have you ever heard of an author named Christine Feehan?  I hadn’t.  At least not until several years ago when I was wandering through Kroger on my lunch break and found one of her books for sale.  I picked it up and devoured it in about two days.  They’re not deep books.  They’re what’s known as ‘chick-lit’ meaning it’s a book written for women (i.e. a romance book) and in this case, it also happens to be about vampires.  Sorta.  Really she writes about a race of semi-vampires known as Carpathians.  She also has a series about leopard people (of which the first book is one of many). 

Recently I picked up another one of her books called Dark Fire.  It’s not my favorite of the two books but I liked it.  Feehan’s books are ‘stand alone’ meaning that you can read one without having to read all of the others in the series and they’ll all still make sense.  I appreciate this considering that Dark Fire is #6 in the 23 book ‘series.’ 

So here are the ‘issues’ I have with the book…

  • The heroines name is Tempest.  Really?  I mean, is she a stripper? 
  • The heroine is supposedly a badass mechanic but other than the very beginning of the book she never works on a car.  You’d think she’d have been able to use her skill SOMEWHERE in the book right?
  • Stolen names… One vampire hunter is named Cullen.  I totally can’t blame her for that since Dark Fire was written in 2001 looooong before Twilight came out but still, it got on my nerves.  There’s ANOTHER vampire whose name is William Wallace.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I couldn’t read that without hearing ‘FREEEEEEDOOOOOOM!!!!!’ in my head every time.   
  • I still have a hard time with the whole Carpathian life-mate thing.  If you get into these books you’ll find that each book is about a Carpathian male finding his ‘wife’ (they’re called life-mates because they’re immortal).  The whole idea is that your life-mate is literally the other half of your soul and when you find her, you can bind her to you for all time.  A male cannot bind just any female to him, she has to be his one true life-mate.  I can accept that but when it happens in this book he sees her, spends five minutes with her, and binds her.  The whole time I’m sitting there thinking ‘caveman much?’  It’s just such an archaic form of thinking.  ‘I like you, I want you, I’m going to pee on you to mark my territory.’  Ok so there’s no actual peeing but you get the idea.  It’s a point of contention that I have with most of her books. 

All in all if you’re looking for a quick read or something to get you in the mood for when your hunny comes home I’d say pick this one up. 

Here’s the synopsis from Christine Feehan’s website:

There is Always a Price to Pay

So Darius warned her when she accepted a position with his traveling troupe. And gazing mesmerized at the merciless slash of his mouth, the implacable resolve on his face, the soulless emptiness of his black eyes, Tempest was afraid to ask what it was.

She had always been different, apart from others. From the moment his arms closed around her, enveloping her in a sorcerer’s spell, Darius seemed to understand her unique gifts. But did his kiss offer the love and belonging she sought, or a danger more potent than his own panthers?

Somewhere deep inside herself, Tempest realized she knew the answer. She had no choice but to accept the velvet stroke of his tongue, submit to the white-hot heat piercing her skin, welcome an erotic pleasure like no other….